Use of Copyrighted Materials


Each member of the CSU, Chico community is responsible for understanding and complying with US copyright laws. CSU Chico faculty, staff and students also must consider the copyright and intellectual property policies of the Chico campus, as well as the CSU system. The purpose of this website is to provide links to relevant information about US copyright law, as well as CSU, Chico's copyright policies and guidelines.

CSU, Chico Copyright Policies 

CSU, Chico copyright and intellectual property policy is found in three Executive Memoranda:

  • EM 75-10 Policy for Use of Media
  • EM 83-08 Policy for Patents & Copyrights
  • EM 97-07 CSU, Chico Intellectual Property Policy
Other relevant sources of information include:
  • EM97-18 "Policy on Use of Computing and Communications Technology"
  • A 2003 report from the Task Force on Intellectual Property of the Academic Senate of the California State University (CSU): "Guidance for CSU Policies on Intellectual Property. Intellectual Property, Fair Use, and the Unbundling of Ownership Rights."
  • Guide to Graduate Studies: Policies, Procedures, & Format. See pages 20-21* for copyright restrictions for Master theses and projects. (*Acrobat reader pages 26-27)
  • Current Collective Bargaining Agreement for Unit 3, California Faculty Association, 
    Article 39 – Intellectual Property Rights:

-For issues related to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), Mark Hendricks in Information Resources is our DMCA agent of record with the US copyright office. His email address is
-Within the CSU Office of General Council,  Grace Liu and Jennifer Glad have Intellectual Property listed as their specialty subject matter assignments.

Copyright Basics

A Book: Copyright law for librarians and educators : creative strategies and practical solutions. Crews, Kenneth D: KF2995 .C74 2012 (Reference)

Copyright, Teaching and Fair Use


On November 2nd, 2002 President Bush signed the "Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act" (The TEACH Act) into law The TEACH Act redefines the terms and conditions on which educators may use copyright protected materials in online education. The Copyright Crash Course has a good summary of the act.
The TEACH Act is  part  of the larger Justice Reauthorization Legislation (H.R. 2215) The TEACH Act legislation itself, "Public Law 107-273" (this document is huge) is near bottom under, Subtitle C, Sec 13301.
Laura Gasaway has constructed a chart  comparing Sections 110(1) and 110(2)

Investigating Copyrights: the steps

The University of Texas provides a list of steps to follow to decide whether you need permission to use a copyrighted work.

Obtaining Permission

There are businesses that can secure copyright permissions for you, for a fee, or you can do it yourself.
Columbia University's Copyright Advisory Office provides a  site on howo to ask for permission yourself:

 For text based materials The Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) will obtain copyright permissions for a fee. To secure rights for other types of materials like musical works, see the list of collective licensing agencies from the University System of Georgia. offers a copyright clearance service to their customers.
If you want to get permission yourself, a handout with instructions on how to do this is available in the Technology and Learning Program (TLP) lab in the basement of the library (MLIB 003). A model permission letter is included in the handout.
The permission letter was derived from a CETUS booklet, "Fair Use of Copyrighted Works" ( © 1995 by CETUS) a website on copyright by the University of Tennessee, both of which are no longer available online. 

A recommended book: Getting Permission. How to License and Clear Copyrighted Materials Online and Off.(2007) By Richard Stim. (This is a Nolo Press book). KF3002 .S75 2007. (Main)

Copyright Ownership/Registering Copyright

The US Copyright Office has a website with instructions on how to register your works.

Copyright Law-Primary Documents

If you want to see the primary documents for US copyright Law go here: down the list and you'll see Copyright Law under Title 17.
For an alternate source see: “Copyright Law of the United States” at from the US Copyright Office. For a version with historical and revision notes see

Public Domain

Several charts are available on the web that show "When Works Pass Into the Public Domain."
The first is by Lolly Gasaway, Professor of Law and Director of the Law Library at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
The second was originally published by Peter Hirtle and is available at

Codes of Best Practices

Codes of best practices for fair use have been developed by more and more professional  communities in recent years in co-operation with Center for Social Media and the Washington College of Law at American University, and are gaining in their importance and usage. An Educause ELI seminar on Fair Use broadcast in September, 2013 gives a good introduction to the new codes.  The ELI seminar also notes an interesting shift in importance in transformative use in Fair Use. For  an example of one of these codes, the Association of Research Libraries (ARL)has one of the most detailed codes. The ARL website also has links to successful examples of these codes of best practices.  
code of best practices for online video is available from the American University's Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property in the Washington College of Law, and the Center for Social Media in the School of Communication.

The Center for Media and Social Impact (CMSi) has a compiled a list of best practices.
Stanford's Website  also has compiled a list of Codes of Best Practices, but it  surprisingly leaves off the ARL code, which is the most in depth and comprehensive code that other groups could use as model.

Recent Copyright Cases and History

On March 31, 2016 the district court released the latest ruling on the Georgia State case:
For background on the case, see the guide from Laura Burtle at the GSU library.
See also Kevin Smith's helpful commentary from April 1, 2016.

On May 11, 2012 the opinion in the copyright infringement case against Georgia State University was released. Joan Chevrie, from EDUCAUSE, provides a concise summary and links to additional sources of information of the case on this page

On October 3, 2011, the AIME versus UCLA case over streaming videos was dismissed by the trial judge. 
This case didnt provide much guidance about copyright, as it was dismissed primarily because of issues other than copyright itself, according to Peggy Hoon.

A February 19, 2010 Issue Brief on the "Streaming of Films for Educational Purposes" from Jonathan Brand, Brandon Butler, Kenneth Crews, and Peter Jaszi. offers some fascinating ideas for faculty using videos in their online classroom.
On November 2nd, 2002 President Bush signed the "Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act" (The TEACH Act) into law.

On October 28, 1998 President Clinton signed the The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) into law. The act was an attempt to expand copyright regulation into the digital environment.. You can see a good summary on the DMCA by the US Copyright Office at this link:  If you want to see the whole 94 page DMCA go to: 

For more  frequent updates to copyright news as well as general information about copyright, see Stanford's copyright website.

For free lectures on copyright by Professor William Fisher at Harvard Law School, licensed under a Creative Commons License, visit From 2014.

If you want to go over the defining court cases for copyright, see Latman's The Copyright Law. 6th ed., 1986. The book also starts with a brief history and overview of the constitutional basis of copyright. KF2994 L38 1986 (Main)

The information on these page is not legal advice. It is for informational purposes only. If you are seeking advice for your particular needs, you should consult a lawyer